I am a CPA practicing in the state of New York and I am currently on disability for severe depression and also now finally coming to term with my gender dysphoria which I struggled with since the age of 4 years old. I have had family tragedies and suffered from intense shyness and painful isolation due to my deep rooted feelings that I was really a “girl” and I knew since the age of 4. I always wanted to wear dresses and girl’s shoes and i cried many times but somehow with the love of my family and my dedication to school and sport and my feel of having to overcompensate I managed to study Mechanical Engineering at a prestigious university, Virginia Tech which sadly had a shocking tragedy on April 16, 2007 where a gunman shot and killed 32 people and himself. I wish to not think of my school in that regard but back when I was a student and found the campus and school and community and town simply charming. I studied hard which was good actually and remember many late nights but I matured and learned despite my internal struggles. A few years after I followed up my education at Hofstra University near to where I started at Nassau Community College where I studied Engineering Science. I knew Hofsta University had a good business school so I wanted to enhance my engineering background with a business degree and studied Accounting and took the review course which led me to obtaining my CPA license upon passing the exam in New York State.
I have always been dedicated to all my educational pursuits and maintained that same dedication. loyalty and responsibility to my working career as an engineer and as an accountant. I kind of struggled all my life though with shyness and had a difficult time assuming leadership roles because of my shyness and my transgender situation which I kept inside virtually all my life until I reached a breaking point. I am a human being with feelings, emotions, pain but I always pushed myself to be my best as engrained in me by my loving parents who both struggled with depression and sadly became victims to it.
A fathers sentiments on Autism
I now have a family which I always wondered about because of my unique situation. I am lucky to have a wonderful wife who is trying her best to understand me and is consumed as I am with our son who is autistic and struggles as we try to find the most appropriate school for him. I am now able to act as his advocate full time and make all the important phone calls that I was unable to do in the past due to hectic work schedules. Now I am making the most of my situation and also writing to help me cope with my isolation and updating my CPA website and social media sites. I found a way to use my time as I also meet with my doctors at Beth Israel, meet with my son’s school officials and my good friend Carly who I view as a friend who is representing me as an adviser to help us avoid foreclosure on our house, a modest house I overpaid for and which has gone down in value significantly.
I am a CPA and I have the credentials and the background and most importantly the experience as a working professional. I do value my family and need to spend more time with my son because sadly I feel we have no choice but to have him placed in a residential school for his own well being but deep down in my heart it will be one of the hardest things we will have to deal with but the bottom line is we only want what is best for our son so he does not wind up having to live the rest of his life in a group home.
I will continue to hold on and live my life and try to be a solid support system for my son and maybe take my life in a new direction as Emily, as a writer, as a sweet person with a good heart, as a transwoman, as an advocate for my son, for autism, for myself, for the transgender and LGBT communities and mostly for my family. I love my wife and son and they will always be the best part of my life despite my internal struggles.
I will also still dedicate myself as a professional CPA as I always have but now I need to heal and just do all I can for my son because when I am on my deathbed I will not think about work and how I could have done better. I will be thinking about my son and praying that I did all I possibly could for him. Work and career are important bur the quality of one’s life and the time they spend with their children and family are the most important priorities and when you are raising an autistic child the need to spend meaningful and quality time with them is all the more important.
It’s sad I have to learn this now in my early 50’s. My son is 14, autistic and the most important priority in my life. The accounting and trying to make a living is equally important but health and family have to always reign supreme. I now know that as I had an emotional and nervous breakdown that opened my eyes and made me realize what life should be about which is your children and doing all you can to help them cope in life. It is a tough world out there and that is why suicide for some is the only solution as it was for my dad sadly. We are still trying to cope with the loss and my son especially as he loved grandpa. A wonderful father, grandfather and dedicated ironworker and devoted family man who struggled with depression. Life is not easy but it is what it is and we try to make our presence known and the ones we love we try to touch them and if we leave them as we know is inevitable we surely have to plan for their security and safety so we can truly go in peace.
Dedicated to my wife, my son, my family and all who touched my life!